Unnecessary timeout

Makani Kema-Kaleiwahea had a football scholarship and was on track to start at outside linebacker for Arizona.

And then because of personal circumstances, he gave it up, with the intent to return to Hawaii. If he did not play another down, he would have returned to Hawaii, where he had been known as Keoni Bush-Loo as a Kamehameha Schools student. He legally changed his named in 2013.

Fortunately for Kema-Kaleiwahea, he received — and accepted — a football scholarship from the Warriors. With his circumstances, he was a strong candidate for a waiver that would have allowed him to play this coming season without redshirting, as is the usual protocol for a transfer. And that should have been the happily-ever-after part.

But the NCAA approved a rule in which — no exceptions — a football player must sit out a season when transferring between FBS schools. The rule does not go into effect until this fall, but is applicable to players who transferred this spring. Unless there is an 11th-hour exemption, Kema-Kaleiwahea may practice but not play in games this season.

It’s a shame that the NCAA doesn’t allow for the human element. Kema-Kaleiwahea, like Jordan Pu‘u-Robinson — who was approved to play after transferring — is deserving of an exemption.

Sometimes, rules should be broken.


  1. Tofuzuke May 15, 2015 7:18 am

    Welcome home Makani.

  2. islandman May 15, 2015 7:33 am

    2nd ? No depth chart yet, i guess.

  3. seewhy May 15, 2015 7:47 am

    The NCAA = The Corp.

  4. tom May 15, 2015 7:50 am


  5. 3-Prong May 15, 2015 7:52 am

    Happy Aloha Friday Gang…

  6. Da Punchbowl Kid May 15, 2015 7:58 am

    No Clue At All. What exactly does the NCAA do again? I know that they take care of the big boys and earn huge salaries. You are right seewhy – they are The Corp.

  7. Da Punchbowl Kid May 15, 2015 8:00 am

    Welcome home Makani! We see you play bumbye.

  8. Ipu Man May 15, 2015 8:25 am

    NCAA…did they clobber North Carolina U yet?

  9. mytake May 15, 2015 8:39 am

    Q: Why won’t the state legislature give more money to UH?
    A: They want to get rid of UH autonomy and retake control.

    It’s all about power. Too bad for the students including my son.

    Just my opinion.

  10. The Po May 15, 2015 8:49 am

    Khari Harding a player whom is transferring from Auburn to Tulsa is another victim of this. He went back home to be closer to his sick father but they won’t allow his immediate eligibility.

  11. NorthShoreFan May 15, 2015 8:55 am

    Guud Morning Tsaikos…bootiful day.

    NCAA scade of NCU. Big universities get them on the payroll.

    Interesting we can pay athletes a stipend for expenses now but can’t buy them a malasadas to take home and eat later. Can’t let athletes change schools and play right away. They want to protect rosters and schools but will allow schools with money to buy the best team they can afford….huh?…navigating the NCAA rules and college athletics will definitely prepare students for the “real” world.

  12. bouncingball May 15, 2015 9:20 am

    “unnecessary timeout” pretty much sums up Chow Time.

  13. BigWave96744 May 15, 2015 9:29 am

    Taking off my Hawaii Homer glasses, I feel the NCAA got to do what it’s got to do.

    It’s probably because too many athletes (around the nation) have abused the transfer rule.
    Some have said they wanted to play closer to home, only to transfer to a school which is farther away from home than their original school.

  14. BigWave96744 May 15, 2015 9:31 am

    This NCAA rule isn’t something just to penalized small schools, everyone is affected. It may actually help mid majors by disallowing BCS schools to load up on talent

  15. jimmy the lock May 15, 2015 10:49 am

    If the Warrior beat does not display the most current blog topic then use:



  16. kapakahi May 15, 2015 11:15 am


    If forced to redshirt this coming season, then MKK would only have 1 to play 1 in the 2016 season. Right?

    BTW, what’s the latest status on Jeremy Castro?

  17. Maddog50 May 15, 2015 11:28 am

    Don Weir many thanks. I still have my #50 jersey and tell family members I was the original Hawaii 50! Hell what do they know it’s a good laugh. Actually Ed Foote a center and NFL draftee wore it prior to me when the TV show first came out-

  18. islandman May 15, 2015 11:36 am

    14. or anyone — So what was Kema-Kaleiwahea’s status for 2014 ? He played for Arizona in 2012 and 2013.

  19. bowwar May 15, 2015 11:51 am

    It’s about time our “compliance officer” for UH fights for our student athletes and files a petition with the NCAA to “grandfather” Kema-Kaleiwahea’s transfer status as the “decision” made by him was done based on the rules at that time…

    If we don’t fight for our student-athletes, then we really don’t need a compliance officer on staff.

  20. papajoe2 May 15, 2015 11:54 am

    Great softball game between Mililani and Maryknoll last night. Game pau around 11:30 pm. Surprised the story made SA’s home delivery today.

  21. oneseason May 15, 2015 12:23 pm

    #12 … that is a good point. I was thinking it would be more common for a player to want to leave a big school and the current rule forces them to sit out a year before they can help a mid-major upset one of the big boys. But I can see your point about it working the other way too. I do think that having a no-exception rule begs the question of which is more likely to happen, and who is likely to benefit more. And if it is the mid-majors, I would be pretty surprised.

  22. Da Punchbowl Kid May 15, 2015 12:45 pm

    Big Wave you are right – as usual. But, if a student leaves a program due to family/personal reasons and is accepted into a school much nearer to home the NCAA should be willing to look at all the facts of the case and make a ruling.

    The most important thing is that Makani doesn’t lose a year.

  23. 3-Prong May 15, 2015 12:47 pm

    Vacated wins and some scholarships…

  24. Waikapu May 15, 2015 1:25 pm

    Oh brother read the UH report on Fib Arnold. Wow!! And now this dude wants another $1.4 million from Hawaii taxpayers. What a joker. He should work for HART or with Billy Kenoi. Never thought he was a good hire, he’d already been tainted with the stain of an NCAA investigation at USC. In fact, he said Tim Floyd was his mentor, a guy who admitted paying off OJ Mayo to play for USC. What did UH expect from hiring this guy? They got exactly what they deserved.
    (Uh, yes, hard to type on the blog and latest posts not showing up in Warrior Beat listings.)

  25. Stephen Tsai May 15, 2015 2:11 pm

    I can’t give the whole story because of privacy issues, but Kema-Kaleiwahea was raised in the foster system. His guardians are no longer available. I think he wanted to take care of some of the kids in the foster family.

  26. islandman May 15, 2015 2:12 pm

    Gib probably going to get money from UH in a settlement.

  27. jimmy the lock May 15, 2015 2:36 pm

    Always good to see public schools winning championships in sports.

  28. kapakahi May 15, 2015 3:04 pm

    From my observations from the last Spring Ball practices, Kema-Kaleiwahea looked to be a starting OLB this coming season……since JGW still recovering from knee injury from last season……and with Castro MIA.

  29. UHalum May 15, 2015 3:14 pm

    What happened to Castro?

  30. kapakahi May 15, 2015 3:59 pm


    Dunno what’s up with Castro. That’s why I’m asking ST.

    All I know was that Castro wasn’t anywhere on the field at the last few Spring Ball practices.

    With JGW #2 & M. Williams #49 injured, check out this video of Gouveia working with the other OLBs Kema-Kaleiwahea #55, L. Williams #17, Tavai #59, Matautia #41)……BUT without Castro #16.


  31. warriorsanddolphins May 15, 2015 4:01 pm

    If Kaleiwahea had to redshirt last season, then why did Keith Kirkwood play at Temple without redshirting last year. He left last year and played that year.

  32. kapakahi May 15, 2015 4:07 pm


    You answered your own question. Kirkwood left UH last year and played for Temple last season…..in 2014.

    Like ST said, this is a new rule that applies to players that transferred this spring……in 2015.

  33. Old School Dave May 15, 2015 4:26 pm

    State red tape and bureaucracy at its best. It’s the students who lose out in the end.


  34. Old School Dave May 15, 2015 4:28 pm

    Looking forward to seeing Jahlani Tavai on the field at LB.

  35. kapakahi May 15, 2015 4:36 pm


    Definitely good size…..especially height…..but JMHO that still needs to improve his flexibility and explosiveness.

  36. Shoko May 15, 2015 4:45 pm

    So, Kema-Kaleiwahea played as a true freshmen and sophomore years and redshirted his junior year. He should have the opportunity for a sixth year to exhaust his four-year playing eligibility.

    He sits out this year, plays next year and gets the extension to play one more year after that.

  37. Shoko May 15, 2015 4:51 pm

    After reading the proposed penalties I still think the NCAA hands down a post-season ban. I figure if UH is expecting to get penalized with a post-season ban, might be better to let the NCAA dish it out.

  38. islandman May 15, 2015 4:53 pm

    32. I don’t think Kema-Kaleiwahea red shirted last season. He has to redshirt this coming season.

    Stephen, your new post topic doesn’t show up, when i do the usual clicking. I have to go to yesterday’s topic to click on your link for today’s topic.

  39. kapakahi May 15, 2015 4:54 pm

    Just another DOE case of……”Be careful what you wish for……since you might just get it…….then find out that you can’t handle it”……when the DOE administration got what it wanted……but not necessarily the schools……

    Read Part VIII Reduction of Bureacracy…….pages 9 though 13……of ACT 51: Reinventing Education Act of 2014…….that was proposed by DOE and approved by State Legislature back then……

    Same like UH, the DOE can’t blame others anymore…….like they used to……for their own failings.

  40. 3-Prong May 15, 2015 5:15 pm

    Shoko: Hope there is no post season ban. Self reporting and cooperating along the way avoided the dreaded “lack of institutional control” label. But you may be right, the NCAA might still try to prove to the “haves” that it can flex its muscles at the expense of the “have nots”. I’ll bet Dean does not lose any of his Natioanal Championships at UNC even with its Institutional Facilitation with bogus courses.

  41. 3-Prong May 15, 2015 5:18 pm

    …what da heck am I doin here yappin on da blog, It’s Pau Hana Friday an dis guy is Tirsty!

    Go Bows.

  42. pollypicador May 15, 2015 5:39 pm

    Give Chow some credit this past spring.

    1. He held a practice at Aloha Stadium, simulating game day conditions with a night scrimmage. And also keeping the opposition from getting eyewitness reports.

    2. He named his team captain earlier than selecting the captains during customary fall camp. This way the captains can keep the players in line during the summer.

    Both moves are smart.

    Some key players were kept out of action, limiting their live contact. (Lakalaka being one). This is smart. All in all, injuries were minimized this spring. Maybe this has to do with having no take downs in practice, which is a good move in my opinion.

    Practices were heated(some fights broke out) between players.And coaches (I’ve heard) were heated among themselves , which is good. Team needs that chip on the shoulder-aggressiveness, hunger, image.

    Also Chow has kept quiet in a good way. In the past he would elevate said players. Now he has said nothing, thus putting any undue pressure on any one player (QB’s come to mind).

    Also I’ve heard there was some tinkering with center play, Wa’a and Clarke doing reps, defensive line with Kennedy in the middle, and a few of the safeties getting looks at DB (?). One of the safeties I like is Lewis, so I hope he finds a spot.

    All in all no complaints.

  43. Shoko May 15, 2015 6:21 pm

    Read that Kema-Kaleiwahea played in three games but didn’t register any stats last season. He didn’t take any snaps against Cal then left the team after Arizona’s bye week in late September. Looks like he does only have one year to play.

    Have to admit, though, his case is unusual in that he comes from a foster family and assuming the reason for him leaving was to care for the kids of his foster family. Wonder if that’s enough to be granted a hardship waiver if it was still in effect.

  44. hitman May 15, 2015 9:16 pm

    aloha everyone !! happy aloha friday !! welcome to da UH family Makani Kema-Kaleiwahea hope that they review your case !! best of luck !!

  45. Stephen Tsai May 16, 2015 4:33 am

    It’s graduation day.
    Here’s today’s post: http://hawaiiwarriorworld.com/?p=30990

Comments are closed.